This is one of those books that I have had forever. I was drawn to it because I haven't really read any fiction based on the Berlin Wall before. This story focuses on life on both sides and one woman's need to escape to West Berlin while leaving her baby on the other side. Her husband was a defector and she is left with the choice of going to prison for life or attempting an escape. Once she arrives in West Berlin the only thing that matters to her is getting her son and mother-in-law to freedom.
The characters are very well developed, and although you get a few different points of view it isn't jumping all over the place. I loved Trudy and Gisela. They are both amazingly strong women, but also show weaknesses that make them real to the reader. I loved Wolfgang. He is the perfect example of how good hearted people are victims of their circumstances during war. As far as backstories go, I think the author did an excellent job of showing each characters' past without it overwhelming the main plot.
My only problem with the book was the section that took place in America. It was pretty far fetched, and I wish she hadn't gone that direction for a while. Overall it was a very good book. I would definitely push it on my friends, as well as read this author again. It was a strong 4 out of 5 for me, with parts of it being in the solid 5 range.